Publication Date

March 1, 2004

Perspectives Section


The American Historical Association welcomes its newest affiliate, the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women (EMW). The society is the 118th specialized historical group to be accepted as an affiliate by the AHA's Council. The society encourages and supports scholars and teachers from any discipline for their contributions in helping to understand the cultural, political, economic, and social history of early modern women and gender through research and scholarly meetings.

According to the history of the group, the society developed from several colloquia held between 1985 and 1989, starting with a Folger Shakespeare Library seminar on Renaissance women. A larger group was then formed to include all scholars who were interested in the history of early modern women. In 1994, the society was officially formed with Barbara Kiefer Lewalski, William R. Kenan Professor of English literature at Harvard University, elected as the first president. The incoming president for 2004 is Sara H. Mendelsohn of McMaster University.

EMW sponsors a listserv for its members and is in discussions about the possibility of starting a journal. The next conference of the society will be held in Toronto, Canada, in November 2004. The society also sponsors sessions at a variety of scholarly organizations, including another AHA affiliate group, the Renaissance Society of America. Membership dues range from $15 to $50, depending on academic position. Further information on joining the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women can be obtained from the society's web site, The society also awards several book and essay prizes for works that focus on women and gender in the early modern period (1450–1750). Currently, EMW is seeking nominations for its 2004 prizes. For eligibility requirements, please contact the awards chair, Hilda Smith, Department of History, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH, 45221. E-mail:

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